Phillipsburg New Jersey has a long history dating back to the time of Native American Indians. Based on records, in 1654 the locality was a part of an old Indian village. The area was initially named Chintewink before the settlers came to reside. One of the early settlers in this community is William Phillips. He was the most influential person in an area that the place was named after him. The name Phillipsburg was declared on the map as early as 1749. In modern-day Phillipsburg, the name Chintewink is still detectable as a name of an alley in the town.
William’s daughter Margaret married a man named John Roseberry. To this day the oldest house in Phillipsburg dating back to 1750 was built by Mr. Roseberry. From this family lineage, they also took part in building the Union Square Hotel in 1811. This structure is still a functioning establishment to this day. These two locations will be an interesting find when you decide to visit Phillipsburg New Jersey.
Originally, Phillipsburg’s main livelihood was focused on agriculture due to its proximity to the Delaware River. But in 1829 the introduction of the Morris Canal engaged the town to be a transportation hub. The Morris Canal was used actively for over 100 years. On July 2, 1852, the Central Rail Road of New Jersey was introduced in Phillipsburg. It paved way for numerous railroad companies like Lehigh & Hudson River Railroad, Lehigh Valley Railroad, Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Phillipsburg Branch, and Pennsylvania Railroad Belvidere Division to extend their business to the area. This lead Phillipsburg New Jersey to be a crossroad of 5 prominent railroads.
On March 18, 1861, Phillipsburg was incorporated to be a town under the act of the New Jersey Legislature. The first election was held in Union Square Hotel on April 8, 1861. Mr. Charles Sitgreaves was elected to be the first mayor. Progress continued for Phillipsburg as more infrastructures were built like the “Free Bridge” that connected the town to Easton in 1895. It is one of the 3 bridges that connects Pennsylvania across the Delaware River. The other two are Northampton Street Bridge and a more recently built Interstate 78 Bridge constructed in 1989.
In the 1900s, other notable businesses that emerge in the town were drilling companies like Ingersoll-Rand Drill company. It is a large manufacturer of drills using compressed air technology dated in 1904. In the same year, Baker Chemical Company was also established. In 1908 other industries like Silk Mills were also introduced.
At present, Phillipsburg with its deep roots in the railroad industry was selected as the site for New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Heritage Center. The venture aims to build a museum that will celebrate and preserve the state’s history of transportation.
It is also the location of the Phillipsburg Railroad Historians Museum. It has a collection of GE Locomotives, 1922 Chestnut Ridge Mack railbus, Tidewater tank car, A public service trolley, a CNJ Box car among many others. It also operates a miniature railroad that completes the memory of Phillipsburg’s glorious transportation hub days.